January 27, 2011

Bull Headed

In full disclosure, I wrote this post a while ago but never got to posting it until now.  But still relevant whether we're talking about speedwork or getting out there in poor weather...

I always have to rely on my stubbornness for speedwork.  It's not something I particularly look forward to and Wednesday it kinda snuck up on me.  The plan was to run 8 x 800 intervals.  Did I mention I don't love tracks?  Or speedwork?  Or speedwork on tracks?

But, "lucky" for me I'm currently reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to Traithlon Training by Steve Katai and Colin Barr. (Still debating the New Orleans 70.3 and whether I can afford a bike.  Figured I might as well learn how to get started if I go for it.*)  Tuesday night I happened to read the part about how attitude is one of the most important components of training.  There was this great quote that said something along the lines of "If you don't think you can do it, you won't be able to."  (Um... but I can't find the exact phrase again and need a post, so just imagine a really motivational statement.)  A positive, can-do attitude goes a long way.

Fast forward to the next morning.  Wednesday I woke up feeling groggy.  I snoozed for 30 minutes and then dragged myself out of bed.  (I never snooze.)  Once up, I started drinking my usual cup of Joe and made some oatmeal.  Then I peeked at my workout schedule for the day:  Speedwork.  I knew it was there, but I pretended it wouldn't be.  I really didn't want to do speedwork.  The first thing I thought was that I could simply push it back to Thursday (always a dangerous move to procrastinate), I then remembered what I'd read.

My solution?  I lied to myself.  Big, fat, positive, can-do lies.  "This'll be fun!  It'll go by really quickly and you'll totally end up loving it!"  And as a back up, I used two tricks that I find essential for workouts when I'm dragging my feet:
1.  Being completely & utterly stubborn
2.  Focus on the details.  And I mean, lose yourself in the details.

How many miles left?!?!
Since #1 is pretty obvious, let me expand a little about what I mean by #2.  I find that when I'm tired or feeling lazy, if I look at the big picture it's overwhelming.  It's like when you hit mile 20 of a marathon and think about having to run another 6.2 miles.  6.2 miles!  That's still a long way to go!  So I focus on the little things as distractions and let my body keep moving without the interference of my brain.  Get home from a long day of work and now you've got to hit the gym?  Don't think about the gym.  Don't think about the workout.  You'll get to that.  Think about putting your right shoe on.  Then your left.  Focus on grabbing your water bottle and whatever little things you need.  I find that once I'm at the gym I can convince myself, "Well, I'm already here.  Might as well do the workout."  And once you've starting running/biking/whatever, I find that I can usually convince myself to just go for another minute.  Then another.

Or while running laps at the track, I focus on the billboard, the other runners... the minutiae can get me through it.  Unfortunately, with speedwork you have to be somewhat invested in what you're doing.  It's important to pay attention to your form, your splits, etc...  But if I focus on running well, and memorize what time I should hit each 200m, then I can distract myself between the 200s and then check my times there.

You gotta do what you gotta do.  And let's be honest, it's rare that you regret a workout but we often regret skipping them.  Just distract yourself right out the door.

"Stubbornness does have its helpful features. You always know what you're going to be thinking tomorrow."
-Glen Beaman

*Unfortunately, 70.3 ain't gonna happen for me this year.  Way too expensive.  I just can't afford to buy a bike let alone pay the entrance fees this year.  But that doesn't mean I've given up on the idea...

1 comment:

  1. There's always next year . . . or the year after that! Interesting post - thanks for sharing the info.